Bookmakers are known for taking bets, but it’s not too often you see major UK firms make a gamble of their own. That’s exactly what we see happening now, however, with bookies going big on partnerships with the rising stars of esports.
Respected gambling firms continue to increase their stake in the esports industry, but do they see it as a way to make a quick buck while the going is good, or should punters take note of the movement, marking it down as something well worth keeping an eye on, giving us an insight into what the future may hold for the new age of sport?
One of the first giants of the sports betting arena to invest heavily in esports was Betway, having spotted the early signs of promise from the sector. It proved to be a shrewd move when Betway found incredible success in sponsoring ESL One Cologne, the world’s biggest competition involving the online multiplayer first-person shooter game Counter-Strike: Global Offensive. SK Gaming came out on top there, smashing their way through a fierce field of 16 teams to bank a winner’s prize of $250,000. That certainly got people talking.
Betway enjoyed the benefits of investing early
Sums like that don’t go unnoticed and following that BIG deal with Betway, as well as tournaments and champions making headlines across the globe, it did nothing but further boost the reputation of esports. This, of course, resulted in an increased number of players, not to mention an upsurge in media coverage of similar tournaments. Organizers basked in the glory, but so too did Betway who enjoyed the benefits of investing at the ground level, watching their investment pay back handsomely.
Excited by the early success, as you would expect, the bookmaker increased their betting coverage and markets on future esports and a visit to their sportsbook site today will gift bettors the chance to try their hand at betting on the next esports meeting of note.
Adam Savinson, who is the head of esports at Betway, grinned as he spoke to the press about his employer’s success to date and their plans for the future concerning esports.
Bookie sponsors Ninjas in Pyjamas
As well as supporting competitions financially through savvy sponsorship, Betway has also taken things a step further and backed individual teams, plowing cash into an esports organization from Sweden named Ninjas in Pyjamas. The firm will also go down in betting history as the first to launch and run an esports microsite.
This has paved the way for other bookmakers to jump on the bandwagon and players searching through the betting app or desktop site of their preferred sportsbook will likely find esports quoted. Customers at bet365, for example, have an esports tab listed near the head of the navigation bar on their homepage, sandwiched between Darts and Futsal.
Click the tab and you’ll open a world of betting opportunities many never even knew existed. The list is constantly updated to keep pace with the fixture list but clicking on the All Matches option will deliver every upcoming game due to take place over the next few days, organized into time order.
Money talks as the numbers soar
The list is varied, but some of the most popular competitions are the CS:GO – ESL Pro League Europe, CS:GO Brasil Game Cup and the LOL – EU Masters. Decide on the tournament that attracts your attention, then choose the fixture that interests you most. There you will find more than 10 markets – that number growing all the time – including Match Winner, Match Handicap and Total Maps Over/Under.
So, why the sudden interest in esports from betting firms who are already kept busy enough by a crammed catalog of traditional sports and betting opportunities, including football, horse racing, golf, tennis, boxing, reality TV and politics?
Well, to get the answer to that we should remember one thing – money talks, and there’s certainly enough of that in the esports industry. The numbers have soared in recent years, with the global market revenue pegged at $130m in 2012. Not bad, but small change when compared to where it went from there. In 2016 that number climbed to a breath-taking $490m and we’re on course to break through $1.5b in 2020.
Exposure to a new audience
It is, therefore, no surprise to see a host of bookmakers follow the example of Betway and hop aboard before the market resembles that of sports betting and becomes overly crowded and aggressively competitive. Some of the UK bookmakers associated with esports, either taking bets on fixtures and competitions or sponsoring events, can be viewed at https://www.top-betting-sites.co.uk/
For their money bookies will get unrivaled exposure thanks to streaming of the top tournaments and matches around the world, but marketing teams will also gain exposure to a new, previously untouched audience of 18-30s with disposable income and a desire to gamble on esports before it becomes the norm.
Nothing is guaranteed in the world of sports or investments, as we know, but it looks certain we’ll see more sportsbook firms splashing the cash in the world of esports in an attempt to get noticed while staying relevant to a new generation by hanging onto the coattails of this revolution.
The post UK Bookmakers Gamble on the Rise of Esports, and it Pays Off appeared first on Esports News, Videos, Streams | ESTNN.
Source: Feed Burner Esports News